A Newbie's Guide To Summer Farmers' Markets

If you're brand new to the farmers' market scene, we've got you covered.

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Get Ready To Hit The Market

Find out what you should bring, how you should shop and all our best tips and tricks. Here's everything you need to know about visiting your local farmers' market this summer. 

Bring A Chic Tote

If you're going to start hitting up the farmers' market regularly, you'll definitely need a sturdy, stylish tote to bring with you. Choose a tote with sturdy, stylish straps like this one made from leather and natural jute. Fill your tote up with reusuable plastic bags before you leave, so you don't have to grab any at the market.

$68; needsupply.com

Have Some Cash (And Small Bills)

Make sure you swing by an ATM before you head over to the market as most vendors only take cash. Try to bring along smaller bills, including plenty of $1 bills. 

Remember the Seasons

You will always find the freshest fruits and vegetables at the farmers' market. However, this means that, unlike the grocery store, you might not be able to find everything you're looking for. Pay attention to the seasons, and try to stay on top of what's available. This way, you'll never be surprised when you get to the market. 

Try Samples

Many vendors offer samples you can try. Eat as many of them as you can! This will help you figure out which vendor's fruits and veggies you like the best, as well as what's most in season. 

Go Early

If you want to avoid the crowds, try to get to the market as early as you can. Arriving at the farmers' market when they first open means you have your pick of absoulutely everything. You'll also have an easier time parking. 

Bring Your Pup

Many farmers' markets allow you to bring your dog along. Make sure to check on the market's website, Insta profile, or Yelp.com to ensure that dogs are allowed. If your pooch is friendly and gets along with other dogs, it's a fun adventure to bring them along. 

Meal Plan Before You Hit the Market

Try to meal plan for the week ahead before you go out to the farmers' market. Make a complete list of all the ingredients you need for the week. Just like going to the grocery store, a list will keep you focused and ensure you don't forget anything. 

Don't Forget About the Food Vendors

Most farmers' markets have a good selection of food vendors, in addition to the fruits and vegetable stands. Come to the market hungry to sample some of the delicious, diverse food options available.

Buy Some Flowers

We all know that you can get delicious fruits and veggies at the farmers' market, but don't forget about the beautiful flower selection. Most markets have at least a few flower vendors, so pick up a bunch or two while you're there. 

Check Out the Gourmet Foods

You will likely find vendors at the market selling gourmet goodies like jams, honey, pickles, salsas, cheese, hummus and even meats and fish. Just like the farmers, many of these vendors use the freshest ingredients and make their own small-batch items.